follow the nuevo spanish wine trail!
Heidi Stine
October 6, 2016 | Heidi Stine

six sigma flight night, october 15

Six Sigma Ranch, Lower Lake, CA, announces their 5th Annual Flight Night!

Time Posted: Oct 6, 2016 at 7:12 PM
Heidi Stine
September 9, 2016 | Heidi Stine

croma vera opens tasting room

Congratulations to TAPAS member Croma Vera Wines, in San Luis Obispo, CA, who announced the opening of their tasting room as of September 8, 2016!

The address is 445 1st St., Avila Beach, CA 93424. Hours are

  • Friday and Saturday, noon until 6pm, and
  • Sunday, Monday and Thursday, noon until 5pm

And of course they'll have a party - scheduled for Friday, September 30. Visit their website for details, or subscribe to their email newsletter to receive an invitation!

Time Posted: Sep 9, 2016 at 5:14 PM
Heidi Stine
August 14, 2016 | Heidi Stine

music august 27 at twisted oak

Twisted Oak Winery is pleased to announce the final concert of their 2016 Twisted Folk Concert Series – with The Claire Lynch Band.

Where: Twisted Oak Winery, 4280 Red Hill Rd at Hwy 4, Vallecito, CA
When: Saturday, August 27th, 2016 – 7:30pm. Concertgoers admitted 6:30pmClaire Lynch

Ticket Information:
Tickets $25 advance ($20 Twisted Few wine club members), or $30 at the door, if available.
Children 12 and under: $10. 100% of children’s ticket sales will be directed to supporting music education in local schools.
For more info, or to purchase tickets:  209-736-9080,

Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. Her career has been decorated with many accolades including two GRAMMY nominations and three International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year awards in 2013, 2010, and 1997 – an honor for which she has again been nominated in 2016!

"One of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today." - Dolly Parton.

A yummy dinner will be available for purchase – please visit for details - along with yummy Twisted Oak wine, brownies, popcorn, and soft drinks. Concertgoers are welcome to bring their own picnics and non-alcoholic drinks, but the winery asks that no outside alcoholic beverages be brought in.

Seating at Twisted Folk concerts is outdoor festival style, first-come, first-served – try to bring a low beach-type chair or a blanket. They're on top of a hill and there is always an evening breeze – it can get a little chilly after dark so please plan ahead.

Twisted Oak Winery is located in the foothills of Calaveras County, and specializes in wines made from Mediterranean varieties like Tempranillo, Viognier, and Petite Sirah. They are also known for being the home of the world-famous “Rubber Chicken National Forest.” Our concert venue, located at the winery in Vallecito, sits on a hilltop that commands a sweeping view of the Sierra Nevada and the surrounding foothills, presided over by a 350-year old California Blue Oak that graces the label of every wine they bottle.

Claire Lynch’s Bio:

Blazing her own trail in the mid 70's when there were few role models for a young woman in the genre, Claire Lynch made history when she led the Front Porch String Band, which evolved in the 80’s and 90’s into “one of the sharpest and most exciting post-modern bluegrass bands on the circuit.” She formed her own Claire Lynch Band in 2005 and has since consistently been a top pick of prestigious publications, critics and audiences across the U.S. and beyond.

Claire grew up in Kingston, N.Y. until the age of 12, when the family moved to Huntsville, Alabama. There she began her education in country music and got caught up in the bluegrass revival of the 1970's, joining a band called Hickory Wind. Later, the band changed its name to the Front Porch String Band with Claire’s vocals as its centerpiece.

In 1981, after their first nationally-released recording, the group retired from the road, and Claire pursued dual careers in addition to raising a family. As a songwriter, her tunes have been recorded by such luminaries as Patty Loveless, The Seldom Scene, Cherryholmes, Kathy Mattea, The Whites and Stephanie Davis. At the same time, she became a much sought-after session vocalist.

In 1991, the Front Porch String Band was resurrected with the album Lines and Traces, a move that ultimately led to the launching of Claire’s solo career in earnest. Friends for a Lifetime was released in 1993 followed by Moonlighter in 1995 (Claire’s first GRAMMY nomination) and Silver and Gold in 1997 (also nominated for GRAMMY glory). She was named the IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1997 and enjoyed many chart successes. The band wrapped up the 20th century with the album Love Light in 2000. At that time Claire took what she thought would be a full-fledged break from music, stepping away from the grind of daily touring. She wasn't sure when–or if–she would return. “I hadn’t planned to come back. Then one day I opened my catalog of songs and realized that I'd written my life,” she said.

Little by little, the lure of music worked its way back. She sang harmony on The Grass is Blue and Little Sparrow which led to promotional touring as backup vocalist for Dolly Parton. She graced albums by other artists with her background vocals including Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Pam Tillis, Alison Brown, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Ralph Stanley. Today, the impressive list of other guest appearances continues including spots on albums by Donna the Buffalo, Sara Watkins, the Gibson Brothers, Jonathan Edwards and Jesse Winchester.

In 2005, Lynch struck out on her own, forming the Claire Lynch Band and releasing the aptly named New Day CD. It was a hit on the bluegrass charts and earned her IBMA nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Female Vocalist of the Year.” In 2007, Rounder Records featured a brilliant catalog of music from her previous five albums on their label and titled the anthology collection, Crowd Favorites. More IBMA nominations followed as well as an induction into the Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Whatcha Gonna Do, Claire’s next release (2009), was called “a stripped-down production with sumptuous acoustic atmospheres” showcasing…the instrumental brilliance of her four-piece band.“ After a busy touring schedule in 2010, she received three IBMA nominations including “Song of the Year” and “Recorded Event of the Year,” winning the 2010 trophy for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Ms. Lynch’s USA Walker Fellowship Award ($50,000.) was one of 50 salutes given from United States Artists (USA) for 2012. The USA Fellows represent the most innovative and influential artists in their fields - including cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts.

In January 2013, after a long, successful stint with Rounder Records, Claire signed a recording deal with esteemed Nashville roots label Compass Records, called by Billboard Magazine, “ of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.”  With their co-founder Garry West producing, she released the ninth solo recording of her career titled Dear Sister. By Summer, the album had reached the #1 position on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Bluegrass Chart seven times and was nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 2013 IBMA Awards.Claire Lynch Band

The current Claire Lynch Band is a powerful juggernaut, a quartet that has the innate ability to perfectly interpret the beauty, subtlety, and genre-defying sophistication of Claire’s music. The Claire Lynch Band features like-minded musicians blending tradition and innovation - two-time IBMA-winning bassist-clawhammer banjo player-dancer-percussionist Mark Schatz, soulful mandolinist-guitarist Jarrod Walker, and young string wizard Bryan McDowell, who at 18, won an unprecedented triple win at the Winfield, Kansas National Flatpicking Championship.

Touring behind Dear Sister  (2014 IBMA “Song of the Year”) has provided the band the opportunity to present fresh, timeless material, including the title track – a tear-inducing masterpiece co-written by Claire with Southerner Louisa Branscomb. It’s an intimate farewell letter shared between a brother and sister, their lives ravaged by the destruction of the Civil War and delivered with all the tenderness Lynch is known for.

The band's newest release (Sept. 2014) was a seasonal project titled Holiday! on Claire's own label Thrill Hill Records. It was recorded during the interim of her last and next Compass recordings and includes seasonal favorites, a couple originals (Claire Lynch/Steven Sheehan's Heaven's Light and Henry Hipkens' Snow Day) and even a rendition of In the Window, a traditional Chanukah song.

As one observer writes, “Listening to Claire Lynch sing is not something to be undertaken casually. Her songs and stage presence demand the listener’s rapt attention. She’s an intensely soulful singer, whose distinctive voice resonates with power and strength, yet retains an engaging innocence and crystalline purity. She’s also a songwriter of extraordinary ability who can bring listeners to their feet with her buoyant rhythms or to their knees with her sometimes almost unbearably poignant and insightful lyrics.” (Dave Higgs-WPLN Nashville, -WAMU Washington DC)

In 2014, Digital listed Claire as “One of the 10 Best Angelic Voices of Our Time”.  She shared that honor with such luminaries as Judy Collins, Alison Krauss, Sarah McLachlan, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.



Time Posted: Aug 14, 2016 at 5:40 PM
Heidi Stine
August 3, 2016 | Heidi Stine

happy international albariño days!

Happy International Albariño Days from TAPAS! We're celebrating now through Monday, August 8. 

There's a nice article on Albariño from Eric Asimov in the New York Times. Enjoy it while you taste!  

Time Posted: Aug 3, 2016 at 8:55 AM
Heidi Stine
June 7, 2016 | Heidi Stine

bulk albariño for sale

Bokisch Vineyards (Victor, CA) has 750 gallons of 2015 Albarino for sale for $14/gallon. Please contact Elyse Perry, Winemaker at Bokisch Vineyards for information at or 415-412-7707.

Heidi Stine
August 1, 2015 | Heidi Stine

happy international albariño day!

Happy International Albariño Day from TAPAS!  And greetings to everyone attending the Albariño Wine Festival in Cambados, Spain! 

There have been some great photos from the festival on Twitter - search for #albariño, #albarino or #AlbarinoFiesta. 


Time Posted: Aug 1, 2015 at 8:15 AM
Heidi Stine
July 20, 2015 | Heidi Stine

tempranillo grapes for sale

Cholame Vineyard, an award-winning winery located in Cholame Valley, San Miguel, CA, has Tempranillo grapes for sale from their upcoming 2015 vintage. 

Tempranillo / 7 Tons at $1,500 per ton

Please call 805.610.1122 if interested.


Time Posted: Jul 20, 2015 at 7:45 PM
Heidi Stine
July 14, 2015 | Heidi Stine

best in show albariño

Congratulations to Wedding Oak Winery in San Saba, Texas - winner of Best Albariño and a Double Gold Medal for their 2013 Albariño, at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition!


Time Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 5:55 PM
Heidi Stine
July 2, 2015 | Heidi Stine

tapas albariños featured

Wine writer Mike Dunne reviews the most enticing Albariños from the 2015 TAPAS Grand Wine Tasting, in this article from the Sacramento Bee:

Dunne on Wine: Regional winemakers embrace Iberia’s albariño

You won't want to miss the great photo of Markus and Liz Bokisch in the vineyard with their cat!

Also check out Mike's blog, A Year in Wine!


Heidi Stine
July 1, 2015 | Heidi Stine

updated winners!

Since the last post, we discovered lots of TAPAS members who received awards from the San Francisco International Wine Competition! Here's a list of all the award-winning Iberian varietal wines from our members. 

Again, let us know if we missed anyone - the complete list of winners is at

A special Congratulations to Harney Lane Winery whose 2011 Tempranillo won Best in Show - the best Tempranilo among all the entries worldwide! 

Abacela Vineyards and Winery, Roseburg, OR:
- 2014 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley - Gold Medal
- 2012 Barrel Select Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley - Silver Medal

Bending Branch Winery, Comfort, TX:
- 2012 Tempranillo, Texas High Plains - Bronze Medal

Bokisch Vineyards, Victor, CA:
- 2014 Albariño, Clements Hills - Silver Medal

Brennan Vineyards, Comanche, TX:
– 2013 Tempranillo, Texas - Double Gold Medal
- 2014 Mourvèdre Dry Rosé, Comanche County - Double Gold Medal
- 2013 Reserve Tempranillo, Texas - Silver Medal

Caduceus Cellars, Jerome, AZ:
- 2012 Sancha Tempranillo, Arizona - Bronze Medal

Castoro Cellars, Templeton, CA:
- 2013 Tempranillo, Paso Robles - Double Gold Medal

Crew Wine Company, Zamora, CA:
- 2011 Matchbook Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills - Bronze Medal
- 2014 Matchbook Rosé of Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills - Bronze Medal

Dancing Coyote Wines, Rio Vista, CA:
- 2014 Estate Grown Albariño, Clarksburg - Silver Medal

Harney Lane Winery, Lodi, CA:
- 2012 Tempranillo, Lodi - BEST IN SHOW Tempranillo!
- 2014 Albariño, Lodi - Silver Medal

Las Positas Vineyards, Livermore, CA:
- 2012 Estate Tempranillo, Livermore Valley - Silver Medal

Oak Farm Vineyards, Lodi, CA:
- 2014 Albariño, Lodi - Gold Medal

Pedernales Cellars, Stonewall, TX:
- 2013 Tempranillo, Texas - Silver Medal
- 2013 Reserve Tempranillo, Texas - Silver Medal

Thirty-Seven Wines, Sonoma, CA:
- 2013 Albariño, Sonoma Coast - Gold Medal
- 2013 Grenache, Sonoma Coast - Gold Medal

Trenza & Tangent Wineries:
- 2013 Tangent Albariño, Edna Valley - Bronze Medal

Turkovich Family Wines, Winters, CA:
- 2011 Barrel Select Tempranillo, Yolo County - Gold Medal
- 2013 Albariño, Yolo County - Silver Medal
- 2013 Tempranillo, Yolo County - Silver Medal

Weisinger Family Winery, Ashland, OR:
- 2012 Estate Tempranillo, Rogue Valley - Silver Medal


Time Posted: Jul 1, 2015 at 7:27 PM